The Airwaves
September 1997
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442




PresidentCharles HawthorneKC6WQR375-7321
First Vice PresidentDavid StoneKC6UUR375-1730
Second Vice PresidentLarry MerwinKE6YLG84-3180
SecretaryLloyd BrubakerWA6KZV375-7245
TreasurerMark RosenthalN6BVP375-2521

SARC Owned and Maintained Repeaters

Randsburg WA6YBN 145.34 MHz (- 600 kHz), PL 100.0 Hz, Wide Area Coverage, Emerg. Pwr.
Ridgecrest WA6YBN 146.64 MHz (- 600 kHz), Translator, No Squelch Tail, Emergency Power
Ridgecrest WA6YBN 147.00 MHz (+ 600 kHz), PL 107.2 Hz, Autopatch (9+phno, # Dn) Emrg Pwr.
Ridgecrest YBNBBS:WA6YBN, 145.050 MHz, Bulletin Board, 1200 Baud
Ridgecrest #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, 223.580 MHz, Node, 1200 Baud
Ridgecrest #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, 431.025 MHz, Node, 9600 Baud
Ridgecrest #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, 439.025 MHz, Node, 9600 Baud

The Airwaves Calendar

Oct 1 Board of Officers Meeting First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1730 hrs Oct 8 Membership Meeting Second Wednesday Heritage Inn Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs Program: Amateur Radio Microwave Communications and Considerations by Chuck Swedblom WA6EXV Mondays SARC Emergency Net Every Monday 1930 hrs WA6YBN translator 146.64 MHz (- 600 kHz) Visitors welcome Nov 5 Board of Officers Meeting First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1730 hrs Nov 12 Membership Meeting Second Wednesday Heritage Inn Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs Program: HF Spectrum Radio Wave Propagation by Dave Rosenthal N6TST Dec 3 Board of Officers Meeting First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1730 hrs Dec 10 Membership Meeting Second Wednesday Heritage Inn Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs Election of SARC Officers for 1998 Program: Home Brew Equipment by Bill Weiss N6YRV
Oct 18, 19 The 8th Desert Classic Mountain Bike Race Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 to volunteer See article Nov 7-9 Ridgecrest Balloon Festival More information next month. Jan ?? Fire Mountain Fifty 50 mile horse ride Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article Feb 21 Twenty Mule Team 100 mile horse ride Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article Mar ?? Coso Bun Buster 50 mile horse ride Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article LICENSE CLASSES AND EXAMS
Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2 Amateur License Cram Class Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV will conduct an Amateur Radio License Cram Class. Call Lloyd at 375-7245 for more information. See article Nov 8 Volunteer License Exam Session Kerr-McGee Center 0900-1200 hrs Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589 Dec 3 Volunteer License Exam Session Cerro Coso Community College 1800 hrs Novice, Tech & Tech Plus Elements 1A, 2 & 3A only Pre-registration is required Call Bill Maraffio N6PR 446-4165

Well, we are back in the mode of searching for SARC officers again. The three great people that have volunteered to tackle this difficult and thankless job are: Mike Cash KN6IS, Jerry Brooks KK6PA and Larry Jenkins KN6WI. My hat's off to you three. You always seem to be there when SARC needs you.

My message this month is aimed at the Technician Class members. If SARC folds, the General Class, Advanced Class and Extra Class members will still have their HF rigs to talk on. If the VHF repeaters go away because there is no SARC to support them, do you Technician Class members (and I include myself) have other Amateur Radio alternatives. Since you probably do not have many, think about this. You do not have to be an old, experienced Ham to serve as an officer. I got my Technician license in October 1994 and the members were more than happy to elect me to be President in December 1996. There are a lot of experienced Hams out there to call on to ask questions of. They are just tired, right now, of being the only ones serving.

Look at your schedule. If you think you can make yourself available for Board of Officer meetings the first Wednesday of the month for about an hour and SARC meetings the second Wednesday of the month and can spare some time in between for tasks such as phone calls, planning and some documentation, then please consider running for office.

Chuck Swedblom WA6EXV will present a program of amateur radio microwave communications and considerations. This will be a non-technical presentation including a summary of the Ham microwave bands and their band plans, how to get started, where to get hardware and where to find information. A collection of microwave hardware will be available for inspection.

Chuck is well qualified on this subject. He has been a licensed Ham for 56 years and admits to "bootlegging for two or three years in Idaho as a kid." He is an RF engineer specializing in microwaves. He has his own ten and twenty foot dishes which he uses for amateur radio earth-moon-earth (EME). He has developed hardware for EME on 2450 MHz using a microwave oven magnetron as the RF source, rectangular rain gutter down spout as wave guide and his twenty foot dish. His ten foot dish is currently in use on ten GHz EME. Chuck and his friend, Dave Laag K6OW, hold the North American distance record for 24 GHz. Chuck built the 2.3 GHz beacon module for the Oscar 7 amateur satellite and also built the CW identification module for the local SARC 146.64 MHz translator.

Chuck is a one man source for anything in the amateur radio microwave realm. Come to ask questions, handle hardware, learn some basic hows and whys and get started in microwaves.

Desert Classic Bike Race 18-19 Oct.

The Eighth Ridgecrest Desert Classic
Mountain Bicycle Race will be on 18 and 19 October this year. A dozen Hams keep things working smoothly for this nationally known race. This year will also include a downhill race on Saturday. The portable repeater has been used on Sunday in the past.

Saturday downhill race requirements are unknown at this writing. Volunteers receive a T-shirt. Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 will organize communication volunteers for both days. Please volunteer early so that communications resources can be planned and used most efficiently.

Ridgecrest Balloon Festival 7, 8 & 9 Nov.
The extent of amateur radio support for this event is unknown. Check the October [sic] issue of The Airwaves for more information.

Horse Rides in Jan., Feb. & Mar.
SARC will provide radio communications and rider/horse logs for three horse rides early next year. The Fire Mountain Fifty will be in January. February 21st is the Twenty Mule Team 100 mile ride and the Coso Bun Buster fifty miler is in March. These start early in the morning and the 100 miler is twenty-four hours so two relays of communicators are needed. Sometimes a pickup is a good thing to have and lots of check points are on paved roads. If you haven't ventured into the fun of this kind of thing, try it. Let the Ham Radio organizer know your vehicle and radio capabilities and a check point at which your combination will suffice will be your duty point. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, 375-7245, is the information contact for these three events. Check in early so Lloyd can best organize his crews.

SARC Web Page Updated

Erik van Bronkhorst KC6UUT has updated the SARC portion of his web site to include the latest AIRWAVES and other SARC documents. You can find them at Larry Jenkins still has his SARC web site at These sites also have links to Amateur Radio related web sites. Do some web surfing. Find something you didn't know existed. Explore them.

Local Ham Radio News Group
by Mark Rosenthal N6BVP

Did you know that for Hams on Ridgenet there is a news group available for local discussions. I asked for a news group devoted to Ham Radio. Mediacom agreed and we have it. However, if it is not used it will be deleted. This would be a great place to put ideas and discussions of local interest. It is not accessible outside Ridgenet so what you say there stays in Ridgecrest. Start using it before we lose it. Point your news reader to ridgecrest.organization.hamradio and make use of this asset soon.

From Bob Huckins W6UPI
For those interested in more information on the Heard Island expedition go to For the best in DX news go to Click on mail list and subscribe. No cost.

World Wide Web Help Wanted
The Airwaves editor is searching for an encoding method to distribute this newsletter via internet e-mail and have it appear on screen and be printed as it is sent in snail mail. Word 5.1 on a Macintosh is used to create the document. Contact the editor, Elvy Hopkins NØLV, at [email protected] with information.
[I will continue to provide PDF versions to Elvy until I hear otherwise --KC6UUT]

Desert Empire Fair Parade
by Mark Rosenthal N6BVP

I would like to thank all those Hams that got out of bed at zero-dark-thirty on 20 September to assist in the parade. Little did I know that the fair had supplied all the principal players with fair owned radios, so we did not have to do our shadow job this year. So it was hurry up and wait until the parade started. And to top it all off, the donuts arrived on time, but the coffee never made it. A lot of sleepy hams! So next year we will arrive later and go direct to the announcer stations for safety monitoring of the parade and communications between them and the start of the parade. Many thanks to Rlee Peters W6BST, Gene Chun KF6CMV, Mike Cash KN6IS, Monty Shinn W6PFR, Dave Shipley KE6RRT (and crew), Joe Cloonan KE6SMH and Judith Rogow N7TTH.
Ed note: Reports are that Mark N6BVP was quite a site with a 450 HT earphone in one ear a two meter HT earphone in the other ear and talking nearly simultaneously on both. Then he went motorcycle mobile and kept this up. His cycle must have auto pilot and auto-balance.

Kiwanis Tenth Annual Walk-A-Thon
by Greg Roush WA7IRW

Seven Hams provided communications between local checkpoints and water stops for the Tenth Annual Kiwanis Walk-A-Thon on Saturday, September 27, 1997.

A record 900 local residents traversed the five mile course in less than three hours.

Mike Cash KN6IS, Hal Hazel KM6JM, Judy Burns KC6UTF, Dave Stone KC6UUR, Larry Jenkins KN6WI, Larry Merwin KE6YLG, and Greg Roush WA7IRW provided updates on numbers of walkers, checkpoint status, requests for transportation and timely requests for additional water when supplies ran low.

The usual number of problems were encountered: No local group to service one water stop, Uncertainty regarding the location of the water stop and Additional water deliveries just before the jugs ran out. Checkpoint six was judged by the walkers to have the best water (because we had ice in ours.)

The Kiwanis have added SARC to the list of beneficiaries for this year's donations to help maintain our emergency capabilities.

Thanks again everyone for your excellent support.

Picnic In The Park Ride
The High Sierra Cyclists Tenth Annual Picnic in the Park metric century (100 kilometers) bicycle ride from Ridgecrest to Kernville was held on 28 September, a beautiful, although a little warm, day for the 5500 feet of hill climbing.

Fifty-six riders started and completed the ride. Hams manned nine check points which included two water stops. The WA6YBN translator was used on the east side of Walker Pass and the KA6OIJ portable repeater was put to excellent use on the west side of the pass. Greg Roush WA7IRW set up, controlled and removed the portable repeater. Larry Merwin KE6YLG, his first Picnic in the Park, worked as radio relay between the two repeaters and difficult to reach check points and enthusiastically said "I'll do this again next year."

Aaannnd, you needed to see this to believe it! Mike Cash KN6IS showed up at Leroy Jackson park at 6:30 am with a twenty-one foot long, thirteen element, two meter beam held twelve feet off the ground using a one ton, extra cab, long bed, four-wheel-drive, 460 cu. in. engined antenna rotator. Yes. He could reach KE6YLG way, way down the west side of Walker Pass at check point four from check point two at the Freeman Junction historical monument, just off Hwy 14 on Hwy 178, - using simplex! That's what you call showin' up with what it takes.

The remainder of the check points were staffed in a more conventional manner by Mike Herr WA6ARA, who used his portable four element quad, Keith Clark W6SIY, Hal Hazel KM6JM, Dave Stone KC6UUR and Paula Herr N6VGW. Elvy Hopkins NØLV organized the crew and followed the last rider into River Park in Kernville at about 1:30 pm.

Thank you to all those who assisted in this event. 'See you nest year.

HAM Club at Burroughs High School

Bill Manatt KE6NHO, an instructor at BHS, reports that, under his sponsorship, a second start for a student amateur radio club at BHS has been made. Officer selections are: Mike Peterson president, Aaron Waite vice president and Carol Lane secretary. Bill will be asking for support from the Indian Wells Valley Amateur Radio community in the future. Elmers will be needed. Demonstrations of equipment and communication modes will broaden the student's knowledge of the various of amateur radio activities.

License Cram Session
On Friday 31 October and Saturday-Sunday 1-2 November

Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV will conduct another Amateur Radio License Cram Session for the Novice, Technician and Tech Plus class licenses. Times are 6-9 p.m. on Friday, 8-12 am and 1-5 pm on Saturday , and 8-12 am on Sunday.

It is expected that attendees will have done the studying needed to pass the FCC exams. Students should come in with questions about areas where they need help. The session is not designed to teach, in toto, the material needed. The Cram Session will be a series of about seven FCC style exams given from the question pool with the intent to find problems in understanding and memorization. Missed questions will be explained and discussed.

FCC exams will be given the following Saturday, 8 November, in the Kerr- McGee Center beginning at 9 am. For more information call Lloyd at 375- 7245. Do not wait until the last minute. A minimum class size is required. Sign up early.

by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

RACES Members to Practice On Saturday February 21 the 100 mile Twenty Mule Team (horse) Ride will take place. This annual event has been well supported by RACES members for a number of years and this year will be slightly different from those in the past. We will set up the portable packet stations (two currently) and operate the packet station in the communications trailer to cover a portion of the ride route. The purpose of this exercise is to give amateurs who have not yet been on packet an opportunity to get acquainted with the mode and get some practice in formal message writing under real conditions. We will route, through packet, ride net messages that are normally verbally passed. These are lists of horses that have been pulled out of the ride, lists of horses that have passed a given check point, names and locations of officials, check-points, lead riders and so on.

We are asking for as many RACES members as possible to take shifts of one or two hours at the packet station locations and learn the ropes. Between now and then read all you can get a hold of about this specialized mode of communication and the instructions available in the RACES Manual. If you do not have this latter reference, see Lloyd and get one. Instruction will be provided on site by a qualified operator. We hope to have more than three sites by February, but it would be nice to have from nine to twelve newly experienced operators for the 24 hour ride period. Put the date down on your calendar and plan on attending.

Emergency Net Goes a Bit More Formal
Training has been rather sporadic on the Monday night net and this complacency is to end. At the beginning of each round table there will be a training lesson in some aspect of net operation, message handling or operation practice. Several net members have expressed a need for training in message handling and so this will be the first subject for the next several weeks. Check into the net and have pencil and paper handy for the night's lesson. Also we plan to put the training to good use by originating and receiving real messages via the National Traffic System through KK6PA who will act as liaison. Send Aunt Suzy a birthday message, a greeting to Uncle George, or just a "This is a message via Ham Radio." to a significant other. Thus we hope to have fewer check-in's with "no traffic". Access is available through both Navy and Army MARS so if you have a relative or acquaintance in the military here's your chance to send along a message. More about this on the air. Remember, complete addresses are needed and include phone numbers if any.

Read Your RACES Plan and Handbook
Recently a number of Hams have complained that they don't know what to do if --- . In several cases the material they wanted to know about was in the appendices of the RACES plan. The response was usually, "Oh, I didn't know it was there." or "I read the plan but I don't remember seeing that." Of course the plan has not been updated for some time and the whole first portion is in dire need of updating in terms of SEMS and ICS so there are some holes in the plan. But, read the plan from time to time to refresh your memory of what is in there.

Note that at the top of this article I've called the plan a "handbook". Should outlines for bike rides, horse rides, and walk-a-thons be in there too? Let's hear some comments.

Packet Practice for RACES Members
RACES members who have no packet experience may call Jerry Brooks KK6PA at 446-2228 to borrow one of the RACES portable packet stations or to get access to the base station. RACES needs Hams experienced with our set-up in the event of an emergency. Feel free to use the gear since that is the best way to learn about packet and the equipment used in a packet station. We don't plan on storing the portable stations in a closet. We hope to have them out in the field when needed. These loans are limited to RACES members only due to Kern County requirements.


As of 22 September
Share account$1,517.51
Draft account1,479.42
Obligated funds
Relocate 147.00 repeater$1,200.00

Board of Officers Meeting Minutes
by Secretary Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

September 3 1997, Those present: 1st VP Dave Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Larry Merwin KE6YLG, treasurer Mark Rosenthal N6BVP and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV Business: Discussed the importance and some possible methods for filling the officer candidate slate for the December election. Discussed possibilities for officer installation banquet.

Adjustment of the Monday emergency net procedures to include training was discussed. WA6KZV took the action item. The purchase a current "Now You're Talking" for the Kern County Library will be voted on at the general meeting. N6BVP is still searching for an economical source for SARC patches. NØLV presented a bill of $96.15 for AIRWAVES publication.

Minutes of the General Meeting
by Secretary Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

September 10, 1997: Twenty three persons including three visitors from the Cerro Coso Amateur Radio license class (Ralph Frasier KF6LCG, Ray Lingenfelter KF6LEE and Harold Duffy KF6LEG) were in attendance.

Volunteers for the nominating committee were Mike Cash KN6IS, Jerry Brooks KK6PA and Larry Jenkins KN6WI. There were requests for volunteers to work the Desert Empire Fair parade and the Picnic in the Park bicycle ride on the 27th and 28th of September.

A vote to purchase the current edition of "Now You're Talking" for the Ridgecrest Branch of the Kern County Library was passed. WA6KZV will purchase said volume.

Mike Cash KN6IS reported that the first Cerro Coso amateur radio license class had sixteen students obtain licensees and the current class has thirteen members.

Norm Smith K7DLN asked for assistance with the extremely high electric power line noise at his home.

The program was on Boy Scouts of America and Amateur Radio by Bill Burns WA6QYR. Merit badges, Jamboree on the air and other BSA radio oriented programs were presented. Many photos of BSA radio activities were available for viewing.

Dave Stone KC6UUR won $9.25 in the 50-50 drawing and Paula Gibeault N6OQQ won a four element quad, portable two meter antenna donated by Bruce Bonbright KD6IPX (It won't fit on his boat). The meeting was adjourned at 2057 hrs.

Wanted Wanted Wanted Wanted

Jerry Brooks KK6PA at 446-2228 wants an air-variable capacitor in the range of 150pF or larger and 6-8 plates per inch to handle 100 watts in an antenna tuner. A tuning capacitor from an old AM broadcast receiver might suffice.

Lost TR-7400 manual. Bruce Bonbright KD6IPX has recently sold much of his Ham gear at a yard sale and here in The Airwaves. He sold a Kenwood TR-7400 two meter, FM, mobile radio missing it's operating manual. That manual showed up in a box of gear that Bill Burns WA6QYR bought. If you have that TR-7400 and need the manual, call Bill at 375-8566.

Contacting The Airwaves Editor If you have an article for The Airwaves or an idea for one, contact the editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV. He can be reached at 384-ELVY and [email protected]